Telematics is a combination of telecommunication and informatics, widely used for location tracking, controlling automotive electronic systems and wireless communications. The developments in connectivity technologies like 4G, Internet of Things (IoT) and 802.11p-based dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) radio, telematics services has tremendously improved, now offering more intelligence and benefits than before.
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Telematics services now offer much more than just GPS navigation, basic driving safety functions and vehicle tracking. Due to the improved machine learning capabilities and data analytics, fleet managers can utilize the data for enhancing driver safety and fuel efficiency, and additional functions such as insights on vehicle health, monitoring driving habits and predictive maintenance.
The most important driver in this market is the growing need for fleet management solutions. The main contributor towards fleet management services is the logistics sector, mainly due to the increased consolidation of logistics companies and the growing demand for fleet tracking for mitigating transit losses due to the rising fuel expenses. Further, the factor has gained demand due to the federal rule that requires commercial vehicles to use Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBR) or Electronic Logging Device (ELD) for improving road safety. The compliance for ELDs has led increased demand because of the benefits like accident detection, vehicle analytics, analysis of fuel consumption, monitoring driver behavior and many more. The commercial and regulatory initiatives has transformed the services offered by various OEMs from just an ornamental feature into “must-haves”. Leading automotive brands are offering these for majorities of their car and truck models.
The essential factor responsible for the growth of the market is the increasing need for driver management. Vehicle telematics helps one to track the drivers and curb risky behavior. As it is no secret that the success of any business greatly depends on the performance of its workforce, the question that needs to be answered is how one can motivate the drivers to derive the best output from them. Telematics help in ranking the drivers based on their performance by configuring key metrics and thus monitoring them with detailed job history, resulting in a two-way advantage of better efficiency (due to an improved driving behavior) and ensuring the safety of the drivers and fleet – a win-win situation for fleet managers.
The key players in the commercial vehicle telematics industry include Trimble, PTC, Verizon Telematics, TomTom Telematics BV, Zonar Systems, Mix Telematics, Omnitracs, Octo Telematics, Masternaut and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.